NEWS GLEAMS: Library Branches Open, Summer of Learning, ESES Marketplace, and More!

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle! 

Source: Seattle Public Library website.

Seattle Public Library Summer of Learning + Branches Reopen

This week, The Seattle Public Library (SPL) reopened the doors of the Central Library, as well as several branches so crucial to people in the South End: the Columbia Branch in Columbia City, the International District/Chinatown Branch, and the South Park Branch. All of these libraries reopened this week, allowing patrons once again to browse the shelves, use Wi-Fi, place holds, speak with librarians, or sit and read the latest newspapers and magazines. In addition, the library system has revised opening-hour procedures and will no longer close for a cleaning/sanitization break mid-day. You can find all library hours online at Library patrons must still practice physical distancing and wear masks at all SPL branches.

At the library this summer, in addition to the ever-popular Summer Book Bingo for both adults and kids, SPL is hosting its annual Summer of Learning program with a series of events for children and youth under the theme “What’s Your Story?”

From The Seattle Public Library: “Share a recipe. Design your dream playground. Interview your grandpa. Make a sign in the style of Amanda Gorman. Tell your family story as a rap lyric. Put your bare feet in the grass and write about it. Draw your happiness. Those are just some of the creative activities you can do with The Seattle Public Library’s 2021 Summer of Learning program, which launched today under the theme ‘What’s Your Story?’ Head to an open Library location to pick up a colorful, poster-size flier filled with writing prompts, quotes, questions and book recommendations that encourage youth and families to explore, create, draw and share stories with friends, families, and neighbors all summer long.”

The range of programming in this year’s SPL Summer of Learning includes multilingual activities, reading recommendations, online workshops (including “Celebrating Black Joy and Brilliance Through Storytelling and Writing” led by the African-American Writers’ Alliance and elders and youth from the community), and much more. More details online at

Children reading in a classroom (source: US Department of Education; used here under a Creative Commons license).

SPS Summer of Learning: Summer School for Students Pre-K–High School

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Summer of Learning 2021 provides summer school options for children pre-K through 12th grade, July 6–30.

Families with pre-K children have two options: at-home instruction led by the family or in-person with an educator. On-demand learning is available for elementary and middle school students with new content and activities added to the lesson calendar weekly. SPS offers coursework in English language arts, math, and social emotional learning that kids can do at their own pace.

The Middle School Bridge program provides a resource for students transitioning from 5th to 6th grade. Live, weekly events covering topics relevant to this age group and the transition from elementary to middle school will “engage students in important social interaction and help students build connections.”

For high schoolers, there are a couple of options: Career and Technical Education (CTE) coursework is available — with space being prioritized for 11th and 12th graders but offered to all high school students. And high schoolers also have the option of seeking credit recovery for courses they either did not pass or received an “Incomplete” grade for. World language course options — Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Korean — are also available to high school students.

Learn more about SPS Summer of Learning 2021 options and registration for summer school on the SPS website. You can also email with summer school inquiries.

Screenshot of the ESES logo on the directory and marketplace website.

Essential Southeast Seattle Launches ESES Marketplace

From the source: “The Essential Southeast Seattle (ESES) Collective is proud to announce the launch of the ESES Marketplace. The ESES Marketplace connects customers with local businesses and service-providing organizations, making it easier for shoppers and clients to place orders online or find information like business hours and location.

“Small businesses help build a strong neighborhood identity and the ESES Marketplace is one great way to [help] local businesses survive the pandemic.

“Shop local using the ESES Marketplace at”

Check out the ESES Marketplace press release for more info. 

BECU 2021 People Helping People Nominations Now Open!

Nomination Deadline: July 2

From BECU: “It’s that time of year again: BECU, Washington’s largest credit union, is currently accepting nominations for our 2021 People Helping People Awards! This annual, member-driven program recognizes both BECU members and local nonprofits that are dedicated to serving their communities, from ending hunger, to pushing for social equity and justice, to transforming lives through mentorship, education, the arts, or more.

“Each winner will receive up to $50,000 in grant funds and a glide path grant of $2,500 for the two years following their initial award. In total, the People Helping People Awards program will distribute $500,000 this year. Through our Black Community Development Project (BCDP), a five-year, $5 million commitment to Black communities and racial equity, BECU is giving up to $150,000 in additional funding to support small, Black-led nonprofits nominated by BECU members.

“BECU members can nominate a nonprofit until Friday, July 2.

“For more information about the nomination process and requirements, key submission dates, and award amounts, please visit BECU’s ‘People Helping People’ webpage.”

Othello-UW Commons Seeks Program Manager

From the source: “The University of Washington’s Community Engagement and Leadership Education (CELE) Center is seeking a dynamic and collaborative individual to join the team as their new Othello-UW Commons Program Manager. The Program Manager oversees the daily management for the Othello-UW Commons facility and coordinates the curation of Othello-UW Commons programming and activities. In addition, the Program Manager supports evaluation and communication strategies for the Othello-UW Commons and connects campus and community partners to advance their goals and facilitate resource sharing.

“We seek competitive applications from individuals who fully embrace the University of Washington’s commitment to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to building and supporting a diverse and inclusive work team and to bringing these core values into our daily work with students, faculty, staff, and the communities in which and with whom we work.

“Please visit the CELE Center’s website to learn more about the position and their work, interested applicants should apply to requisition #190884 on the UW Employment site. The priority deadline is Monday, June 21.”

“Fireworks, Darling Harbour, 19/03/2011,” by Nigel Howe (used here under a Creative Commons license).

Next Year on July 4, Setting off Fireworks in Unincorporated King Co. Will Be a Misdemeanor

Per a County ordinance that will take effect before the Fourth of July next year, selling and setting off consumer fireworks in unincorporated King County will soon be illegal. The King County Council voted at the end of April to ban the sale and use of consumer fireworks in unincorporated King County after years of discussions, the County stated in a May 7 press release.

The County cites “several large wildfires in rural parts of the county during recent dry summers, and several fireworks-related injuries and other incidents in urban areas — including a 2019 house fire in White Center in which one person died” as scale-tipping events that led up to this spring’s decision by the Council to outlaw all but approved public fireworks displays. The County also stated in a press release that public fireworks displays are the safest option for residents to enjoy fireworks during this, and every, season. King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts noted in public safety message last year that “People who use fireworks at their homes and in their neighborhoods need to remember that it comes with risks. It’s essential to practice fireworks safety. Last year [in 2019], fireworks resulted in two deaths and 36 injuries. We don’t want that to happen again.”

Find more information about fireworks and fireworks safety on

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